JOURNAL ARTICLE

Decomposition of adsorbed VX on activated carbons studied by 31P MAS NMR

Ishay Columbus, Daniel Waysbort, Liora Shmueli, Ido Nir, Doron Kaplan
Environmental Science & Technology 2006 June 15, 40 (12): 3952-8
16830567
The fate of the persistent OP nerve agent O-ethyl S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl] methylphosphonothioate (VX) on granular activated carbons that are used for gas filtration was studied by means of 31P magic angle spinning (MAS) NMR spectroscopy. VX as vapor or liquid was adsorbed on carbon granules, and MAS NMR spectra were recorded periodically. The results show that at least 90% of the adsorbed VX decomposes within 20 days or less to the nontoxic ethyl methylphosphonic acid (EMPA) and bis(S-2-diisopropylaminoethane) {(DES)2}. Decomposition occurred irrespective of the phase from which VX was loaded, the presence of metal impregnation on the carbon surface, and the water content of the carbon. Theoretical and practical aspects of the degradation are discussed.

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